Lifestyle monitoring in Alzheimer’s with sensors

Lifestyle monitoring in Alzheimer’s with sensors
Lifestyle monitoring in Alzheimer’s with sensors

Sensors, especially bedside sensors, have been used intensively for some time to monitor the lifestyle of the elderly. For example, to reduce the risk of falling in care centers or to allow people in certain areas or not. Lifestyle monitoring is also an interesting option for ancestors with Alzheimer’s who still live at home. The purpose of this lifestyle monitoring is not to patronize them, but rather to start a conversation so that those involved can continue to live safely at home for longer.

Registering Movement Activities

Lifestyle monitoring uses a network of smart sensors placed at various strategic locations in the homes. In this way, the movement activities of a resident can be properly monitored. Especially if there are suddenly deviant patterns, this can be seen from a distance and the resident can be helped if necessary. Such lifestyle monitoring is ideal for people with early Alzheimer’s. Thanks to this smart monitoring method, they can continue to live at home even longer.

Home as long as possible

Many people do not know, but in the Netherlands many people with early and even somewhat advanced dementia still live ‘normally’ at home. In fact, 79% of people with dementia live at home and are cared for by their close family and environment, the so-called informal carers. There are even more than 800,000 informal carers of people with dementia in the Netherlands. Living at home is often still possible thanks to informal carers, home care and interventions in consultation such as removing the gas appliance, stopping driving, installing a stairlift and well-planned monitoring at home and at a distance. Every person with dementia is different, so tailor-made agreements will have to be made with each person involved.

Lifestyle monitoring: automatic reporting of deviations

With lifestyle monitoring with sensors, noticeable deviations in the lifestyle are automatically passed on to a caregiver or care provider. For example, it may turn out that someone is very restless and repeatedly gets out of bed or tosses in the evening. It is also possible that the refrigerator door is rarely opened or that people hardly ever go shopping anymore. In such cases, specific support is needed that can be organized in consultation.

The website of Vliegwiel (digital transformation in healthcare) explains: ‘The sensors record 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These sensors only see movement. So they are not cameras. After applying the sensors, they transmit the measurements to a computer program. In two weeks, this program charts the daily lifestyle of the person with Alzheimer’s.’ Care providers or informal caregivers or family can watch via an app or smartphone. For example, the system indicates with color signals whether everything is normal or whether there are deviations. In practice, the system mainly works preventively instead of reactively, such as alarms. Some healthcare organizations believe that lifestyle monitoring can reduce the frequency of client visits to once every eight weeks. And that escalations occur less.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Lifestyle monitoring Alzheimers sensors

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